US Visa Interview Waiver or Dropbox program was introduced in 2012. Since then several thousands of US visa interview applicants have utilized the dropbox in India.

Note: If you qualify for dropbox, you wouldn’t be able to schedule an visa interview. I have heard conflicting reports on this. But, as per experiences shared by few, there’s no option to appear for interview if you are eligible for dropbox.

In this article lets look at some aspects of getting US visa stamp via Dropbox:

  1. The USA Visa Interview Waiver Program – Dropbox in India
  2. Dropbox Eligiblity and Qualifications
  3. Pros and Cons of Dropbox
  4. Overview of Dropbox Process
  5. Administrative Processing – 221g via Dropbox
  6. Documents Required for Dropbox
  7. Dropbox Processing Times
  8. Is dropbox canceled?
  9. FAQ’s About Visa Waiver Interviews

USA Visa Interview Waiver Program – Dropbox

In March 2012, US Embassy announced Visa Interview Waiver program for certain visa categories for qualified individuals. Later, the dropbox program (Visa Interview program) in India have been expanded to include H1B Visa, H4 Visa, L1A, L1B, B1/B2 Visa and F1 Visa.

The US Visa renewal application must be within the same classification as the previous visa. If the previous visa is annotated with the words “clearance received,” that applicant is not eligible for a dropbox.

Dropbox in India – Qualifications

Eligibility for dropbox depends on your current and previous visa status. Here’s q quick overview of steps required to find out if you qualify for dropbox in India:

  1. Complete DS-160
  2. Create an Account to Schedule Visa Interview at USTravelDocs
  3. Complete your profile and start the process to schedule the interview
  4. You will be notified at the end of the questionnaire if you are eligible for the dropbox

So, what questions do that ask to find the eligibility?

Eligibility Criteria for all applicants except child below 14 years and applicant above 80 years of age:

  • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew
  • My most recent visa was issued in India
  • I received my visa after August 1, 2008
  • My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”.
  • My most recent visa (in the same class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
  • I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
  • If I am applying for an H or L (individual) or R visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.


  • If I am applying for any other class of visa, my prior visa in the same class is still valid or expired within the last 12 months.
  • Note: Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify for the Interview Waiver, but Blanket L2 spouses are eligible.
  • If I am applying for an F visa, am continuing as student at same school for which my previous visa was issued.
  • If I am applying for a J visa, my current DS-2019 is issued by the same institution as the institution listed on my previous visa

Note: Using the interview waiver or drop box service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, you may be required to appear for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, for example, if you submit an incomplete and/or inaccurate application. Submit your application well in advance of your planned travel to allow for the possibility that a visa interview will be necessary.

If you meet the requirements for interview waiver – dropbox

  • Schedule an appointment at OFC for fingerprints and photo

Documents Required for Dropbox Submission

If you qualify for dropbox submission, you will receive a dropbox submission letter containing a document checklist. Print two copies of the dropbox confirmation letter and insert the following documents into the dropbox package, then seal the package:

  • One photograph that was taken within the last six months (conforming to the guidelines)
  • Supporting documentation in original and one photocopy required for your visa type
  • Children applying through IWP or drop-box should submit photocopies of their parents’ visas.
  • Dropboxconfirmation letter
  • Current passport that has a validity of at least six months beyond your intended stay in the U.S. (all categories)
  • Passport containing most recently issued U.S. visa;
  • The DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application confirmation sheet (all categories)
  • Original MRV fee receipt for the visa processing (all categories)
  • One photograph on a white background, 2 x 2 inches (all categories)
  • Copy of I-20 (F1/F2, M1/M2)
  • Original DS-2019 (J1/J2)
  • Copy of SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt (principal F, M, J)
  • Copy of your CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate) book/employment contract (for C1/D)
  • A copy of I-797 Approval Notice for H1B and H4.


  • Don’t use the same photo from the previous visa stamped on the passport.
  • If you wear glasses, then for visa, you should remove them (new requirement since 2016)

Advantages of Dropbox

Dropbox has both Pros and Cons.  Let’s look at some advantages of Visa renewal via dropbox:

  • Saves Time and Money: If you are going to India for US Visa Renewal, and qualify for dropbox, it could save you one day of stay in the city were U.S. Consulate is located.
  • No In-Person Interview: Attending Visa interview is not something everyone is fond of. Getting U.S. Visa stamped in the passport without in-person visa interview is double sweet. I’m sure you agree on this.
  • Save Resources in the US Consulate: Resources required to manage the operations at the U.S. consulate is not to be taken lightly in busier U.S. Consulates. If they can process visa renewal without In-Person Interview, they can handle more new visa applicants and lower wait times to get appointments for those who are required to attend the in-person visa interview.

Disadvantages of Dropbox: Administrative Processing (221g)

Administrative Processing is the dreaded and most feared word for U.S. Visa interview attendees. Administrative Processing (221g),  I think this is going to be the biggest disadvantage of  Visa Renewal via dropbox.

Dropbox H1B Visa Experience

Here’s an example of documents requested by the U.S. Consulate for 221g on H1B Visa Renewal. As you can see, they have selected pretty much all the documents in the checklist 221g form checklist.

dropbox 221g h1b visa renewal us consulate chennai


What does this leave you with? Scrambling to collect all the documents.

What if you working as Full-Time Employee and don’t have a client letter?

What if you End Client will not provide a Client Letter?

Now, a number of people involved in the process to collect the required documentation just went up from you to your spouse, manager, HR, Immigration Attorney and others.

Then, you have to make a trip back to the U.S. Consulate once you have the required documentation and attend the interview or email them to the specific email address as suggested to you case.

In meantime, your trip to India just became a roller coaster ride. In the end, things should work out in your favor, but there’s going to be some sleepless nights in this due process.

Dropbox with 221g Processing Times

  • Day 1: Submit passport and documents at OFC
  • Day 2 to 3: Case Created and Administrative Processing
  • Day 3 to 7: Collect required documents and attend interview
  • Day 4 to 10: Visa Approval and Passport Pickup

When you have 221g on dropbox and required to attend the interview, typically you will be asked to walk-in to the consulate with 221g slip without scheduling the visa interview. 

As you can see dropbox has it’s advantages and disadvantages. We don’t know how many US visa renewal applicants results in Administrative Processing but considering the advantages it offers, even 10% 221(g) would result in much faster and smoother operations at U.S. consulate (my guess).

Dropbox Processing Time

Processing time for visa renewal via dropbox depends on 221g and regular processing time for the specific consulate.

Here’s typical and expected processing time for dropbox

  • Day 1: Submit passport and documents at OFC
  • Day 2 to 3: Case Created and Administrative Processing
  • Day 3 to 5: Case Issued

If you don’t get 221g on your dropbox visa application, you should get the visa status changed to “Issued” within the posted US Visa Processing Time. One recent H1B Visa and H4 Visa renewal via dropbox were issued the next day and passport was collected in 3 days.

Is Dropbox canceled in India

Is Dropbox Cancelled or discontinued due to Trump’s Executive Order in India? This is stated in the Travel Ban “Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.”

Short Answer – No. You can continue to use the dropbox option in India if you qualify.

FAQ’s About Visa Waiver Interview

1. I’m going to attend H4 visa interview and I wanted to know if I can apply for dropbox without my spouse?

Yes. You can go for dropbox when you are are traveling along for stamping. As long as US Travel Docs site says that you are eligible, you shouldn’t have any problem.  When you go through the process of scheduling the interview appointment, if you get a message like this “Congrats you qualify for Dropbox”, then you are eligible for dropbox in one of 11 locations in India.

2. My previous H1B visa was stamped in Canada. Would I be eligible for dropbox in Mumbai Consulate for H1B renewal stamping?

One condition for visa interview waiver is that your previous visa should be stamped in the same U.S. consulate. Under that criteria, you will not be able to get dropbox option in Mumbai. Plus, there’s no dropbox in Canada if you appear the for the second time in the same consulate in the Canada.

3. I’m going for H1B Visa renewal and I’m eligible for dropbox. Should I submit original I-797 approval notice for the dropbox?

You don’t have to submit the original I-797 Approval Notice when submitting the Passport after OFC. I believe you may need original only for J visa interview. But, you can validate that during OFC appointment. In either case, you are required to carry the original and photocopy of all the required documents for OFC.

Share Your Dropbox Experience

Did you get your US visa renewed via Dropbox, share your dropbox experience.



  1. santosh on December 7, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    As per the article – We need to go to same US embassy for dropbox. Does it mean same country embassy or same state as well?
    Ex – If first stamping happened in Chennai US Embassy and the next renewal is dropbox eligible. Does the person have to go to Chennai only for dropbox or can select Mumbai to be the dropbox location for reneal? Kindly help

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 10, 2019 at 11:52 AM

      You would have to go to the same Consulate for dropbox. That’s where your previous file/info would be located.

  2. gxv on November 29, 2019 at 9:03 PM

    Hi all,

    I have a question regarding the eligibility of Dropbox. Here is my Visa timeline :

    1. Previous Visa expired in Sept’ 18 from Company A ( Visa Stamped ).
    2. Applied for H1B extension by Company A from Sept’2018 to June’ 2020 ( No Stamp ).
    3. Moved to company B in Dec ‘2018 ( No Stamp ). Filled out DS 160 in Aug’ 2019.

    Under the H1B dropbox criteria am I still eligible for dropbox ?

  3. Praveen on October 21, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    I renewed my Indian passport a month back and my old passport has valid visa stamping till Jan 2020. Is this impact H1B drop-box availability?

    I think not, is there any complication or delay approval becuase of renewed passport? Please let me know if someone has a similar case in the past.

  4. Vasu Thota on September 18, 2019 at 1:36 PM

    Do dependents needs come to drop box location to drop off the application ? Or the main applicant is enough ?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on September 23, 2019 at 9:54 AM

      Everyone should go to the dropbox (unless they are exempt) due to age.

    • Praveen on October 21, 2019 at 3:12 PM

      There is no need to present in person for drop-box, even your relative or friend can submit the document and for receiving the document person should have an authority letter.

  5. Stanzie on August 26, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Hi, i was eligible for dropbox, submitted my docs. I got my passport today and it says “Cancelled without Prejudice” with a letter saying i have to visit the Hyd Consulate with the 221g appointment letter.
    My question is what is 221g appointment letter ? is it the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter ? How long does the process take?

    Pls advise.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 27, 2019 at 2:11 PM

      Search for 221(g) in this blog. You will see additional articles.

  6. Venus on August 7, 2019 at 7:20 PM

    Hi, I have got a Drop Box confirmation letter from my employer in july-2019 for H1 visa stamping. I am planning to travel to India during November – 2019.
    My visa team is telling that, this Drop box confirmation letter is valid for only 3 months and we have to go with in 3 months for stamping.
    Or they are saying we have to reschedule the appointment.
    If I Reschedule the appointment, Am I still eligible for drop box? As my visa got expired only on July 2nd week. Can some one please help me on this.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 8, 2019 at 11:06 AM

      You should ask VAC support about validity of dropbox.

  7. Saanchi on July 23, 2019 at 1:55 AM


    I qualified for interview waiver (F-1 student visa) as my visa is still valid. I am here for about two months and I definitely am happy that I don’t have to go for an interview. The website says I need my ds-160, i-20, previous F-1 visa and the confirmation letter. Is that all? Do I need to submit any other documents? Also, can I send someone else or do I need to go? I am not sure if they need to collect my finger prints again. Please advice. Thanks!

    • Nn on July 31, 2019 at 5:40 AM

      I am also in same boat as you.
      Gave my passport on July 25.
      Case created on July 26.
      Administrative Processing on July 31.

      Now just waiting.

      • Sai on August 26, 2019 at 12:38 PM

        Can you please update your status? I am traveling to India this September and I am eligible for dropbox, but I am worried if it takes too long.

  8. Deepthy on July 17, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    What is drop box package and where can we buy it? I am applying through my spouse , me being dependent, so should we purchase individual drop box packages and should we insert the copies and originals accordingly?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 22, 2019 at 4:45 PM

      For the first time applicant, there’s no dropbox.

  9. Himanshu on July 11, 2019 at 6:29 PM

    I am planning to travel to India in Sep 2019 , my Visa expired on 30th Sep 2018. I am planing to travel after 15th Sep 2019. My current H1B visa was issued in London-UK in Oct 2017. For the question below I doubt that I might have selected “Yes” (I don’t remember). Based on my response system confirmed Drop Box option.

    Is there a way you can confirm what response I have selected for the question below and am I still eligible for Drop Box. If not please suggest how can I modify my response and accordingly appear for interview.

    Please confirm if there are any other options

  10. Ramkumar on July 7, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    Hi raghu sir our f2 visa rejected 2 times by vo..but the issue is i have 2 years daughter for her also they have not granted.can i go for drop box to my daughter..but till now my wife not travelled to it possible to get visa to my wife have enough balance in her account

  11. Chander on July 7, 2019 at 7:39 AM


    My mom (age 58) and grandpa (age 88) are planning to apply for US Visa. Do they qualify for Visa interview waiver / drop-box facility? (when I enter one of the applicant is above 80 yrs of age it says, yes, you can use drop-box) Can I go ahead and use the drop-box facility?

    Else, what should I do?
    – Should I apply separately for my mom and grandpa?
    – Should I use drop-box only for my grandpa and opt for the interview route for my mom?
    – Or, is it better I opt for interview for both of them together?

  12. AMH on June 21, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    I am eligible for the visa waiver program and can drop my application in the nearest drop box to my hometown.
    However, I am currently in the US and if I send my completed application packet to one of my friends to drop it at the nearest dropbox (i.e. in Delhi). Would that work or I have to be physically present while dropping the application packet?

    • Nikhar Shah on July 9, 2019 at 1:20 AM

      Can anyone answer this question please

    • Praveen on October 21, 2019 at 3:16 PM

      I did several times, there is no need to present in person for drop-box, even your relative or friend can submit the document and for receiving the document person should have an authorization letter.

  13. Ivedirs on June 6, 2019 at 1:47 PM

    Hi ,

    While answering the questions for visa waiver in us travel docs website , I answered Clearance received as yes instead of no and then booked appointment – would this be an issue – either way am not eligible for drop box for the date am looking at .

    Would this be an issue

  14. Peter on June 4, 2019 at 11:56 AM

    I am eligible for Dropbox, will be visiting India in a month.
    Our Visas are still valid until August. Recently we applied for Visa extension, H1 got approved, but H4 extension is taking time due to biometrics. Now if we go to India before the H4 extension is approved and apply for Dropbox. Is the Primary H1-B Approval enough to apply for the H4 Visa stamping? or do we need to wait until we get H4 extension approvals? Please guide me. Thanks.

    • Soubhagya on October 17, 2019 at 5:46 PM

      Even we are in the same situation as Peter.
      Can someone please tell whether H4 visa can be stamped in such case and we can return to US?

  15. Jayashree Shah on June 3, 2019 at 2:15 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I’m on H-4 and will be using Mumbai Dropbox for visa renewal for me and my husband (he’s primary). My husband won’t be travelling and I’ll be submitting documents on his behalf. When returning back to the US, there’ll be no stamp on his visa at immigration. Will this create an issue?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  16. Nirmesh on May 14, 2019 at 2:09 PM


    I am holding L1A visa, need to get extension for L2 visa for my son and my wife. I filled in DS160 and all details there are correct. While booking appointment, by mistake I entered wrong birth date for my son. subsequently i was told I am eligible for interview waiver and hence I have interview waiver confirmation letter with wrong date of birth for my son. I have already paid the fees. What do I need to do?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 15, 2019 at 7:26 AM

      Call Travel Docs support and ask them for suggestions.

  17. rohan7777 on May 9, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    F1 renewal query
    I submitted my documents at Mumbai Dropbox.
    My timeline of events is as follows:
    26 Apr 2019: submitted docs
    27th April to 29th April: weekend and holiday due to election
    30th April 2019 : Application Received
    06th May 2019: case updated but still shows Received
    09th May 2019: case updated but still shows Application received.
    Anyone else still facing this kind of delay in recent days?

    • Bilbo on June 5, 2019 at 4:16 PM

      Did you received any update ?

  18. andy on April 7, 2019 at 6:41 PM

    hi — can we change our option to drop-box (I am eligible for it) once we have choose an interview date already?


  19. Hemanth on March 12, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I am planning to travel to India on an emergency, My H1-B extension is approved and also last year I went to Hyderabad Consulate and got my H1B Visa stamped. I wanted to know If I am eligible for dropbox option as nothing as changed since my last stamping(E-V-C) only thing that is changed though is I had to renew my passport, does this going to effect the dropbox option? also the current latest dates available for in-person is around April 16th.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on March 13, 2019 at 11:04 AM

      You don’t have an option to decide if dropbox or in-person. The system will suggest one after you answer the questions.

      • Shiva on April 12, 2019 at 7:40 AM

        Hi Raghu,

        I am eligible for the Interview Waiver program and received a Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter on April 12, 2019. I am still in US and traveling to India on June 2nd week 2019, so was wondering is there a due date to submit my documents for this dropbox program once i receive the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter??

        Appreciate your time and help!!
        Thanks much!

        • Raghuram Sukumar on April 13, 2019 at 5:49 PM

          You will have to submit the document at VAC. I believe you have to do fingerprinting as well.

        • Praveen on October 21, 2019 at 3:18 PM

          Hi Shiva, Please update the thread, I am in a similar boat and share your experience.


  20. Govind Manjunath on February 12, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    My previous H1B visa stamping was done in Toronto, Canada. I am planning to visit India shortly and trying to make an appointment with US Consulate in Chennai. It is less than 12 months since my previous stamping expired.
    My understanding is that I am NOT eligible for drop box since my previous stamping was done in Canada but the visa appointment website says I AM eligible for drop box and does not give me an option to make appointment with the consulate.
    Please advice.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on February 13, 2019 at 1:48 PM

      Travel Docs site will tell you when you schedule the appointment if you are eligible for dropabox.

    • Venkat on February 25, 2019 at 3:22 PM

      Hello Govind, You are not eligible for drop box in Chennai, India as your previous stamping was done in Canada. Drop box facility is available only if your previous stamping was done in the same country and with same petitioner/employer. As rules keep changing best thing to do is directly contact the US consulate(Chennai) to avoid any confusion. All the best.

  21. SV on January 22, 2019 at 10:28 AM


    If I have changed my employer, but my previous H1 has expired in last 12 months.
    Based on the questions I answered, looks like I am eligible for drop box.
    Can someone confirm, if recently anything has changed – that I need to go for an in-person interview?

  22. Rahul on January 20, 2019 at 5:05 PM


    I am planning to visit India due to some emergency situation. However, my F-1 visa has expired in June 2018 and hence I would have to renew my visa in order to come back to the states. I am planning to opt for dropbox option. Currently I am on STEM OPT which is valid till December 2019. Will there be an issue since my STEM OPT is valid only for 10 more months?
    Thank you for help.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 21, 2019 at 11:09 AM

      You are approaching the problem differently. I would do this.

      Your choices come as a package!

      If the visa is expired and you have to travel, then you HAVE to do the stamping. So, the question of issues with stamping is secondary.

    • Priya on March 4, 2019 at 12:52 AM

      Hi Rahul,

      I am in a similar situation. Could you please update your experience, and if you were able to opt for dropbox option.

  23. Quynh Vo on January 16, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I will be going to Vietnam for H1B visa renewal. I am eligible for visa dropbox. This is my first time to do it and below is the list of documents that I’m preparing. Any advice or feedback from anybody have experienced in this process would be very helpful for me and truly appreciated:

    – Passport, Copy of national ID
    – DS-160 confirmation page with a barcode, completed and submitted online.
    – One 5cm x 5cm photo
    – Interview Waiver Confirmation Page.
    – Original or copy of I-797 (Should I do copy or original?)
    – H1B Supporting Documents (I have worked for this company since 2014 during OPT, CPT and now under H1B):
    + Employment Verification Letter
    + Recent Paycheck from last 3 months
    + Form W-2’s
    + Form 1040 Tax return (2014 – 2017)
    + LCA amendment with the new address

    => QUESTION: my company has moved to a new location (still in the same area), my lawyer has filled the LCA amendment with the new address with the US Labor Department when we moved. However, I realized that the company’s address in the California Secretary of State has not yet updated. My company said by law, they have until April this year to update it and they are planning to do it soon. So, my concern is whether or not I should include the LCA amendment when I submit my H1B renewal documents. My company said I should because they used a new address for legal and also in my paycheck. Will that creates any confusion for the US Consolute when they review my visa?

    Also, I was in F1 visa and then changed to H1B last year. Do I need to include documents before I changed to H1B, such as: i20, opt card,…etc? I think I should not because my current visa is H1B. Any thought on this?

    Looking forward to any advice. Thanks for reading my long message.

  24. RHari on January 2, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    I am applying for renewal for my Mother, she has a valid Visa till Apr 2019. My brother is going to drop off the documents. What documents should he drop off? I have the visa fees receipt and interview waiver confirmation with me.

  25. Madhav on December 28, 2018 at 2:21 AM

    Hi Guys,Did any one had an experience for drop box called for interview. I was called for interview after submitting the documents , can any once share your experience and also share what are all the documents required to carry for an interview. Appreciate your guidelines.Thanks.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 28, 2018 at 1:19 PM

      Take all the document that you would normally take it with you for the interview.

  26. Samrat on December 22, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Hi. Is there a waiting time for dropbox too? like for the interview we have only certain dates to choose from. I was guessing that in order to regulate the workload, they might accept only certain number of passports through dropbox on a given day. Or is that if I am eligible for dropbox, I can go at my earliest convenience and submit my passport and other documents?

  27. Debdas on November 26, 2018 at 8:04 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I am eligible for Dropbox facility (for J1 renewal) but my wife is not (new J2 applicant). How can I avoid Dropbox facility ?. We want to get a visa appointment together.

    Even if that is possible will that have a negative impact on my visa approval ?

    Thanks you very much for your time.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 28, 2018 at 10:26 AM

      Use the for Q&A. Thanks.

    • Ankit on January 8, 2019 at 11:48 AM

      Hi Raghu, what happened in ur case, I am in similar boat and was checking if I can skip dropbox and go for interview since my wife has to go for interview as she does not qualify for dropbox.

  28. Abhiram on November 21, 2018 at 9:50 AM

    I am an Indian Citizen residing in U.S. I applied for a Visa Interview for my Stamping at the Chennai US Consulate. I was later eligible for Interview Waiver. But my Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter shows the post as HYDERABAD, while my DS-160 location is CHENNAI. Is this a problem? Can I still go and drop off my documents and get OFC done at Chennai?

    • pavan on May 19, 2019 at 5:04 AM

      i am in same boat as you.
      Can you provide your experience.

      • pavan on May 19, 2019 at 5:23 AM

        i think i got solution.
        I just start the visa interview from again with intended state of residence and got post same as mentioned ds160.
        Hope this is correct solution.

  29. inkal on November 12, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    Hi Sam,

    Can you please share your experience about ten-printing? I am in the same situation. Did they call you to get ten-printed or did you get the visa without any ten-printing again?
    I have to renew my visa and qualify for dropbox. I don’t remember if I had ten-printed. So, I have marked it as no. Did they contact you for ten-printing ? Or did you get your visa without it? Thanks.

    • Avinash on November 13, 2018 at 3:25 AM

      Hi All,

      I am on H4 and my spouse on H1. We are going to India to get our Visa renewed and we’re notifed that we will have drop box. While filling the application, once we select our city, it automatically picked the location as Kolkata.

      My question is can I still drop off my documents on Delhi consulate instead ?

      Please suggest.


      • Raghuram Sukumar on November 13, 2018 at 11:18 AM

        Interesting. Please call VAC and check if they have an option to submit documents in Delhi for Interview in Kolkata. Can you update this thread when you have an answer?

        • Pk on May 14, 2019 at 9:38 AM

          Did you get a response?? For me embassy is showing as Mumbai but can I drop it in Delhi?

  30. Fizi on October 13, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Is it possible to go to the interview even if you are eligible for DropBox. I honestly don’t like the anxieties with 221g and would like to go to the interview instead even though I am eligible for dropbox.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 14, 2018 at 12:25 PM

      If you are given Dropbox, then you don’t have an option to opt for the interview.

  31. Deepthi on October 1, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Hi, After H4 denial , can i go back to India & use drop box facility , I qualify for all other elig criteria s except i am not sure on ” I have no refusals for a visa in any class after my most recent visa issuance” will work on H4 petition denial ? Note: Spouse H1B got approved till 2021. Does H1B also need visa stamping or he can stay in US ?

    Please do let me know the complete check list for H4 dropbox too.Many thanks for your help.

  32. Madhavy on September 20, 2018 at 10:08 PM

    Hi raghu

    Me(my husband is deceased) and my 8 year old son got our B1/B2 approved in November 2017 and both of us visited USA in December 2017(20 days stay).My F1 got rejected in Hyderabad(July 2018) for the first time(where they cancelled my B1/B2) and got approved after a month(August) in Chennai, where I gave my Fingerprints and picked my passport in hyderabad..I entered USA on F1 by August end.

    Now, I want to bring my son here on F2 and tried to book an appointment for him.As he is a minor, he got Interview waiver(no appointment) where we can use drop box.Now my questions are:
    1.Can I choose Hyderabad for drop-box?
    2.please share your experience (if any) where a single parent has applied for f2? I couldn’t find any which relates to my case.
    3. Do I need to write a cover letter?-if so are there any specific points to be mentioned in my case so that my case becomes strong
    4. Any other suggestions for visa approval?


  33. Rajesh on August 21, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    I have an expired US visa stamping from my old company (X) that got expired in Feb 2018 and I am currently working for a new company (Z) from this month (August) whose petition is valid till July 2021. I worked for a company (Y) from May 2016 till July 2018 and I don’t have the visa stamping for company (Y) on my passport.Am I still eligible for drop box option for the visa stamping for employer (Z)?

    • Akash on November 2, 2018 at 2:09 PM

      Hey Rajesh,

      I am in a similar situation and thought I should check in with you on your experience with visa renewal. Do you mind sharing it? Were you eligible for the dropbox?


      • Satish Devan on November 7, 2018 at 1:23 PM

        Akash/Rajesh – I am in same situation as well. Can you share your experience?


        • Rohit on April 12, 2019 at 10:46 AM

          Hey Akash/ Rajesh/ Satish.. can you pls share your exp? I am in same boat as you guys were .. submitted my docs and form last 4 days my passport is with US consulate.. giving me sleepless nts?

  34. Rameez on August 8, 2018 at 5:01 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    I have my f1 visa expiring on 15th august 2018 and wanting to renew my f1 visa. Im currently waiting for the new i20 to be issued. I found myself eligible for the Interview waiver program/ dropbox method, i would like you to clarify 2 queries of mine:

    1) my prev visa was applied in Chennai, so does that mean i have to renew the visa through dropbox from chennai or any consulate in India?

    2) As im currently outside India, is it possible for me to hand in all the documents to OFC through mail or i have to be present in person for submitting passport at OFC?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 12, 2018 at 3:32 PM

      1. It should be the same consulate.
      2. For OFC you have to be in person, so I assume your documents have to submit in person.

  35. Naveen on July 25, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    My visa is getting expired on August 2018 and have a valid I747 till feb 2020. am planning for India trip on Dec 2018 for visa as am eligible for dropbox option. But my concern is I got my earlier visa stamping on Mumbai consulate and this I will be going to Hyderabad. still I am eligible for Dropbox ?? I am not eligible based on your suggestion My previous H1B visa was stamped in Canada. Would I be eligible for dropbox in Mumbai Consulate for H1B renewal stamping?

    Please clarify.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 26, 2018 at 6:28 AM

      If you apply for the same Visa Post, you would be eligible. If your previous stamp is from Canada, you will answer No to “My most recent visa was issued in India”. Please come back when you go through this process to confirm.

  36. Deepika Ramesh Babu on July 19, 2018 at 4:27 PM


    I have a expired US visa stamping from my old company (X) that got expired in 4th Sep 2017 and I am currently working for a new company (Y) from Nov 2016 whose petition is valid till 30th Sep 2019. Now, since my visa is expired with in the past 12 months so I am still eligible for drop box option for the visa stamping till 4th Sep 2018. Now I got a offer from another company (Z) and they already processed my H1B and got approved till Dec 2020 and my joining date would be around Aug 27 2018.

    Now, I was planning to get my visa stamped around 25th of July 2018 before I join the new company (Z) so that I can use the drop box option.Following are my Question:

    1. Can I go for drop box visa stamping using my current employer (Y) petition although I have another petition approved from new company (Z). Would it cause any kind of issue if I have two approved petition while going for stamping. Is there a possibility they will issue 221G administrative processing because f this ?
    2. Although I haven’t started for working for New Company (Z), can I use their H1B approval notice for travelling to India and get the H1B visa stamping done. I don’t have any pay stubs except the offer letter. That way I will get a visa validity for 2 years based on new employer petition (Z).
    3. Can I get the stamping done with the current employer I-797 approval notice and then show the I-797 approval notice of the new employer while travelling to USA so that I can get a valid I-94 till 2 years based on new employer I-797 Approval Notice.

    With Regards,

  37. Anup on July 9, 2018 at 7:47 PM

    My h1b visa expired in August 2017. This is stamping. I still have valid i797 till 2021. I plan to go to India in December 2018. Will I be eligible for Dropbox? It is in same category.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 9, 2018 at 10:15 PM

      You will be asked questions inside USTravelDocs site. That will determine if you will be eligible. Based on what you said, you should qualify for Dropbox.

  38. Suriya on June 26, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Hello Raghu, Im on H1B and eligible for drop box at Hyderabad consulate. I prefer to attend an In Person interview along with my wife (h4) instead of drop box. Can i do that by selection ‘No’ for the question which asks if my H1B expired in last 12 months.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 3, 2018 at 10:32 PM

      I would call the Call Center for TravelDocs and confirm. You are essentially not speaking the facts by selecting No.

      • Ankur Gupta on September 12, 2018 at 9:36 PM

        Hello Raghu,

        I am in same boat. Please suggest did you go through interview or dropbox?

        I read somewhere if you are eligible for dropbox then you cannot go for interview. Please confirm what option did you choose.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on September 15, 2018 at 9:02 AM

          I believe that is correct. You don’t have an option to waive the dropbox.

    • SK on July 17, 2018 at 12:01 PM

      Hi Suriya,

      I am also on the same boat where you are. Actually i called support team @ 7035202239 and the guy told, if your eligible for a dropbox you can’t schedule an interview.

      Did you called support team and checked with them..?? please post what happened in your case.?

    • Ankur Gupta on September 12, 2018 at 9:29 PM

      Hello Suriya,

      I am in same boat. Please suggest did you go through interview or dropbox?

      I read somewhere if you are eligible for dropbox then you cannot go for interview. Please confirm what option did you choose.

    • Ankur on September 12, 2018 at 9:35 PM

      Hello Suriya,

      I am in same boat. Please suggest did you go through interview or dropbox?

      I read somewhere if you are eligible for dropbox then you cannot go for interview. Please confirm what option did you choose.

  39. ST on June 11, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks Raghu for the update. Btw, do you have any idea as how long its taking normally these days to get the stamping? Am not sure what exactly they are checking with this so called Administrative Processing for H4 with no info or asking for any docs. It’s so frustrating to just wait and watch.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 11, 2018 at 9:25 PM

      No definite time limit. Hopefully, it’s just paperwork delay.

  40. ST on June 11, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    My wife has submitted docs @dropbox,Hyderabad for H4 visa stamping on 30th May 2018. It’s been almost 10days and when I check the track passport, it says “Your passport is still with the US Embassy/consulate”. I checked the visa status online and it shows as Case created: 31May, Last Updated: Jun1 with “Admin Processing”. She has current H4 valid till Sep 5 2018 too and (am on H1b with same employer and have the extension till Aug 2019)and it’s been many times she had H4 earlier and we got passports in a week. Am not sure why they are showing this status this time. Any idea, how long does it take to get further update? Is there any way to expedite or approach consulate to know what exactly is going on?
    Appreciate if anyone can update their recent experience(s).
    Thanks a lot!

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 11, 2018 at 12:44 PM

      It’s been a trend these days for Dropbox. So, sit tight and wait for an update. There’s nothing you can do.

  41. Raj on May 18, 2018 at 9:32 PM

    Can some one else drop the documents to consulate for drop box? Or the applicant has to go personally ?

    • Mahesh on April 15, 2019 at 12:32 AM

      I have the same question.

  42. Jitu on April 11, 2018 at 5:10 AM

    I applied for B1/B2 thru Dropbox and got a 221G along with my passport asking me to schedule a appointment. My current B1/B2 Visa is valid for 2 more months and I was applying before it expired.
    1. Is my current Visa still valid? It wasn’t stamped “cancelled without prejudice”
    2. Does this mean I will not get new Visa?

  43. Divya on March 12, 2018 at 11:33 AM

    I am applying for H4 Dropbox but visa got refused and I got blue slip of 221g and was just mentioned to meet the counselor. Can u please suggest any documents I hve to carry and should I go through biometric?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on March 12, 2018 at 11:00 PM

      Take all the required documents that you would normally take with your Visa Interview. Be prepared for questions about your Spouse H1B Visa and Employer. Take his pay stubs, employment verification letter, copy of I-797 for H1B. If you are on H4 EAD, then take EAD card and pay stubs if working. Good Luck.

  44. sam on January 30, 2018 at 10:23 PM

    Hello Raghu,

    My petition qualify for dropbox as per the cgi website. So i completed ds 160, paid the visa fee and got the confirmation letter. In ds 160 for the question about being ten printed, I answered NO as I was not sure about it. Now with dropbox option, do I need to ten print again because of my answer in DS 160? I got my last visa stamped in 2015 and had the biometrics then.

    • Raghu on February 4, 2018 at 8:50 PM

      Yes, for Dropbox, you will be tenprinted when you go to submit the application.

    • inkal on November 12, 2018 at 4:55 PM

      Hi Sam,

      Can you please share your experience about ten-printing? I am in the same situation. Did they call you to get ten-printed or did you get the visa without any ten-printing again?
      I have to renew my visa and qualify for dropbox. I don’t remember if I had ten-printed. So, I have marked it as no. Did they contact you for ten-printing ? Or did you get your visa without it? Thanks.

  45. Lili on December 16, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Hello, I applied for a b1/b2 visa renewal via drop box in September and two weeks later my passport was returned with my previous visa cancelled without prejudice and a form 221 g given to me to stating I should come in in person to speak to an interviewing officer with my passport and form 221g. Please what does this mean . I need clarification. Thanks

  46. Sushmitha M on December 10, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    Hi, I am apply for H4 stamping and i am eligible for drop box. I have submitted all required documents, after 1 days of submission my husband reviewed DS 160 form again and came to know that he has given principal applicant name as my Name instead of his name. what should we do now, when i check status online it shows passport is with Consulate. is there any way to contact them and correct the information. Do they reject the visa. Please help.

  47. Ryan on November 12, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I came to the US in Oct 2015 on a fresh H1B. I am going to India in mid Dec 2017 and have a H1B visa transfer (since I changed my company). My current H1B is valid till October 2018 but the stamp on my passport is of my previous company. I had filled the application online in July 2017 and was eligible for drop box. Will there be issues due to the long time difference between when I applied for drop box and when I will be going to India.
    Thanks in advance.

  48. Tsering on November 7, 2017 at 9:08 PM

    Hi Raghu,
    this is regarding visitors visa for my children who is under 14. Both me and my husband has valid visitor’s Visa and planning to visit US in the end of year with children. Are they eligible to apply drop box visa? what documents do they need to apply and how long the process will take?

    • Raghu on November 7, 2017 at 11:30 PM

      Check with the Embassy where you are applying.

    • Sameera Nemani on January 16, 2018 at 11:13 PM

      Yes they are eligible for drop box. Fill DS-160 and pay required fee (better at bank rather than online) and then schedule your appointment at for dropbox. Simple and easy method.

  49. M on October 26, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    Hello ! This information is highly useful since not many people have updated any info on Dropbox in 2017.
    I came to US for MS in 2012 and am doing PhD in same university now. My visa expired in June 2017 and I want to renew in Jan 2018.

    a)I filled the DS 160
    b) I went to the UStraveldocs website and filled all the details with DS 160 confirmation number and I got the screen which says I am eligible for dropbox.

    I wanted to ask the next steps:
    1) Do I have to pay DS 160 fees or/and Sevis ?
    2) How early can I book an appointment for dropbox?


    • uma on April 9, 2019 at 10:59 AM

      can you update me with your status? I am in a similar situation.

  50. Sid Sharma on October 23, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    Hi Raghu,
    I’m on a H1B visa with ABC employer, my employer was acquired by another employer in Jan 2017 namely XYZ.
    XYZ applied for my H1B visa extension which got approved in July 2017, will I be eligible for the dropbox facility in Mumbai (same place as 1st H1B stamping) ?
    Thank you,
    Sid Sharma

    • Raghu on October 25, 2017 at 12:43 AM

      Complete the questionnaire in ustraveldcocs site. It will display if you are eligible.

  51. Megha Luthra on October 23, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I got my H4 status approved in July 2017 while residing in the US , I had originally got my first H4 stamped in New Delhi, India in Apr 2016.
    Would I be eligible for the dropbox facility for re-stamping in Mumbai along with my husband (H1b holder also applying? or would I have to apply in New Delhi itself?

    Thanks in advance!

  52. Supriya on September 20, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Hi Raghu,
    I applied B1/B2 visa or my parents and I get a confirmation that they are eligible for interview waiver program. However we didnt receive any dropbox confirmation letter comprising of the check list.
    How should we get the dropbox confirmation letter ?

  53. Ak on September 7, 2017 at 5:37 PM

    What are the locations in India for drop box

  54. Aparna Jeyaraman on August 23, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    I got reinstatement of F1 approved while in USA. Now i am planning to visit India next month. Can i use dropbox facility to do visa stamping. If yes, can you explain me the procedure to do it.

    Appreciate your help.
    Aparna J

  55. talwar on August 22, 2017 at 12:45 AM

    HI Raghu,

    For first time h1b visa stamping ..

    Do you have previous h1b visa ? yes or no
    while booking appointment

  56. MSK on August 15, 2017 at 5:11 PM


    My parents need to renew their visitor visa(B1/B2) and I believe they are eligible for the interview waiver program. They live in Karnataka so they need to go to Chennai Consulate. However, they live very close to Hyderabad, so can they use the Hyderabad Dropbox facility instead of Chennai?

  57. karen on July 12, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    got my h1b renewal rejection notice

  58. Raj on June 1, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    Wonderful compilation, Thanks a lot,,

  59. chi tiết on May 4, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    Hi there, this weekend is nice in favor of me, since this point
    in time i am reading this wonderful educational article here at my home.

  60. Vinod on April 27, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    Do change of employer in H1B change eligibility for dropbox?

    Thanks and Regards

    • Raghu on April 28, 2017 at 9:50 AM

      Yes. Change of Employer is not in the question.

    • Yuv on May 19, 2017 at 3:49 PM


      Is dropbox facility still available in India?

      • Raghu on May 20, 2017 at 6:49 AM

        Yes. It is available in India.

  61. jimmy on January 13, 2017 at 11:52 PM

    Hi Raghu,
    I tried to post a question of my own through the ‘ask Raghu a question’ link but the webpage I was directed to has some issues. I am unable to ask a question here. Since my question is related to F1 visa renewal I believe I can post the question here. If you are unable to answer my question here just direct to the right link that works where I can post the question.
    I believe I won’t be eligible for interview waiver program since I am pursuing my studies in a university different than the one I was issued the visa for. So I believe I have to go through the standard procedure for F1 visa renewal which will include interview in US consulate in India. Do you know what documents I will require for the interview process? I can think of I-20, proof of funding, passport etc. but if there is anything which I am not aware of please let me know.

  62. Raj on June 26, 2016 at 4:39 AM


    Hi i went to India on Jan 2015 and got Visa stamping with XYZ employer. Visa with XYZ employer was valid till Sep 30 2015. I changed my employer to ABC from October 2015 . If i plan for India trip in Aug 2016, am i still eligible for drop box process.

    Is there anyone facing same case? I heard from some of my friends, since its change of employer, I should attend interview. As i have marriage plans, please kindly reply to this message ASAP.

    In this blog, it says, change of employer case, needs to attend interview.
    Is this updated?


  63. Anil Kumar on June 17, 2016 at 3:43 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    I have a question, We are applying for H4 Visa (H1B Extension got approved) for my kid, since he is under 4 year old he is eligible for drop box.

    However myself and my wife doesn’t have a valid visa in our passports at this moment. My wife is also applying for H4 visa and interview got scheduled.

    So, would like to know do we really need to have valid visa in parents passport to apply for drop box?

    Is it a good idea to apply through drop box for before my wife H4 visa stamped in her passport after interview?

    Please clarify on this.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 17, 2016 at 4:00 PM

      If your wife is applying for interview, schedule group interview and forget about the dropbox.

  64. Sara on February 23, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    hi, I was trying to get visa interview scheduled, by mistake selected yes for drop box option and got confirmed. but i am not eligible for dropbox. i am 27 yr old. can i use for the different option for interview and can use the same recipt?

    • siva on April 23, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      hi, I face the same issue…do u hv a solution to dis???

  65. vasim dodiya on December 17, 2012 at 3:29 AM


    I just came from Stats on j1 visa I been there for my internship so can I renew my J1 too !!!

  66. NB on December 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    if I want travel abroad within 1 week of arriving in India, is it advisable to schedule a face to face interview, even though I qualify for dropbox? because I can not find the time period it takes for return of passport?

  67. seekingvindication on December 6, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Question: When you refer to “Document Checklist” under the dropbox section, you mean the “Dropbox confirmation letter”?

  68. susan on December 6, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Hi Raghu,

    Do you have any idea, whats the processing time, if i submit my H1b renewal thru IWP dropbox.

    • HHH on December 16, 2018 at 3:05 PM

      Hey susan, around Nov-early Jan the drop box processing times are a bit slower. Most consulates are on skeleton crew since many of them take advantage of the holiday season and go on vacation. On average you’re looking at 10-14 working days from drop off to pick up.

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